Saturday, September 29, 2007

Monday Sept 29

1st. day R.H.


I walked with Jack to the Brooklyn Bridge for Tashlik. Mrs. Kessler gave me crusts for my pocket, her husband is so sick he cannot go himself. I felt the warmth from her stove as she opened the door and handed me the crusts, saw inside the candles and table set for tonight. She is a good wife but so tired and quiet, I did not expect her to open her door and offer me bread when I walked down the hall but so she did.

I joined a little stream of neighbors, and there we joined other streams from other streets and more still until we flowed to the base of the bridge, a little river of Jews from all over down town. I saw there a girl I recognized from the Kessler club, always she holds a cigarette and wears short skirts and laughs at every boys joke, but now she walked quietly another part of our solemn parade.

The women and the men walked on the bridge together and I thought of Tashlikh in my little town of Sniatyn. How I would follow the men to the Prut and listen to my father's voice as he explained the rituals, how the women could see us from the bend in the river where they stood, apart from us, I imagined I could see the crumbs they cast float down stream and past us as the men read from their prayer books. My father olam habah held my hand on the way back, his book tucked under his good arm so he could take my hand in his, his feet crunching the fallen leaves and I walked so fast to stay beside him, the cool air made my nose run and I saw the other men around us walking, dark coats amidst the trees, asking questions of my father asking questions I would not have thought of myself. My father always answering and I would hold his hand.

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